In a disappointing move to placate the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Trump is planning to send thousands of additional troops to the Middle Eastern country.
This move comes in response to last month’s Aramco attacks.
Reuters reported that “The United States is planning to send a large number of additional forces to Saudi Arabia following the Sept. 14 attack on its oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Iran.”
Although the Pentagon has not made any official statements confirming the report, Reuters explained that the “sources did not specify exactly how many troops would be deployed but said it was expected to be in the thousands.”
Defense Secretary Mark Esper is expected to announce a new deployment of U.S. forces to the Middle East as tensions rise over Turkey’s military operations in northern Syria and an explosion on an Iranian oil tanker.
As many as 1,800 military personnel, including two air squadrons, are expected to be deployed to the region, including to Saudi Arabia, according to a defense official.
During the last month, the Pentagon deployed around 3,000 troops to Saudi Arabia along with King Salman and crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman to promote “regional stability” and keep Iran in check.
The irony is that this news comes right after Trump promised to “slowly” get “out of the Middle East”. One journalist raised a valid concern, “Is this to prop up the House of Saud internally, or warn off Iran?”
During a separate confirmation of the original Reuters sources, CNN reports that the “Move comes as U.S. Navy is unable to send a relief aircraft carrier to deter potential Iranian aggression,” referencing multiple unnamed US defense sources.
Indeed, this news is disappointing. Trump was elected on a non-interventionist platform and vowed to end these never-ending foreign policy quagmires.
As Commander-in-Chief, Trump has the power to pull out of Middle Eastern conflicts immediately. Unfortunately, there could be larger forces at play that prevent him from carrying out one of the main planks of his 2016 campaign.
Let’s hope Trump digs deep and reminds everyone in his administration that he has the final call on all defense matters.